The world has just grown smaller thanks to Matt Parramore of Lynn Haven, Florida, and Capt. Kevin Cote of Hollywood, Florida. These two offshore anglers, strangers to each other, were brought together to make a huge contribution to the life history and movements of dolphinfish.
The story begins when on a fishing trip off Panama City in the panhandle of Florida; Parramore tagged three 18-inch dolphin on May 15, 2012. Following a 45-day liberty, one of these tagged fish found irresistible the bait offered by Capt. Cote during a charter fishing trip aboard his boat No Vacansea off Freeport in the Bahamas Islands on June 29, 2012. The fish had moved roughly 776 miles, traveling down Florida’s west coast, rounding the Dry Tortugas, and then moving up the east side of the Florida current to the Bahamas. During this trip the fish averaged moving 17.2 miles per day and had grown three inches in length.
This fish likely rode the Gulf’s famous Loop current southward from its release point down to the Dry Tortugas off the south end of Florida. At this point the Northward-heading ocean current becomes known as the Florida current, which the dolphin used to reach Freeport. As far as distance traveled, this movement is not particularly impressive. As a movement that for the first time connects fish populations in two separate bodies of water, the recapture is a major accomplishment.
This single recapture does not prove that a major portion of the dolphin off Florida’s east coast come from the Gulf of Mexico. It does show that this one fish did make the trip, and it raises the question of what portion of the Gulf’s dolphin population follow the same route.
This confirmed movement begins to add another piece to the puzzle of the known migration routes of dolphin. The relative importance of this particular route will only be realized through a significant increase in tagging in the Gulf of Mexico.
A Space Coast fishing tournament was joined by two regional fishing clubs in donating more than $14,000 to support dolphinfish research recently in Port Canaveral, Florida. Space Coast fishermen and clubs have been strong supporters of the research effort since its start and leaders in financial support from sports fishermen.
On June 30 Milliken’s Reef Restaurant held its second annual Classic Slam Fishing Tournament at its Port Canaveral location. Jason Solano, owner of Milliken’s Reef, again designated the Dolphinfish Research Program as the beneficiary of the money raised by the event. With 56 boats participating, the 2012 event was able to raise $8,100 for dolphin research.
During the tournament, Steve Goff, president of the Cape Canaveral-based the Florida Sports Fishing Association, announced that his club would continue their annual donation of $1,000 to support the DRP work. The FSFA has been a financial supporter of the DRP since 2007.
Jeff Page, president of the Central Florida Offshore Anglers, a fishing club based in Orlando, used the awards ceremony as an opportunity to show his club’s continuing support for the Dolphinfish Research Program by presenting a check for $5,000 to Don Hammond. The CFOA has been providing financial support for the research program since its start in 2002 and has been a corporate sponsor since 2007 and is the only club to contribute at the corporate sponsor level.
The financial support of sports fishermen and their organizations is important to the success of the Dolphinfish Research Program. First, it makes it fiscally possible to conduct the research since government grants do not fund this program. Secondly, the fact that recreational fishermen are donating their hard-earned money to support this research shows fisheries managers the importance sports fishermen place on dolphin fishing. Thirdly, when fishermen invest their own money into fisheries research and conservation, they buy into efforts to manage the fishery properly to ensure a healthy fishery for future generations.
The BlueWater Boats and Sportsfishing magazine, one of the premier offshore sportsfishing magazines published in Australia, recently carried a six page article on dolphin based on work by the Dolphinfish Research Program. The June 2012 copy, issue 92, of the magazine had an article on the known life history of dolphinfish based on the findings of the DRP research and other known facts from research around the world.
This is the second article published on dolphin by this popular sports fishing magazine based on work by the DRP. The fact that the magazine’s editor, Tim Simpson, who bases out of Runaway Bay, Queensland, follows the study’s finding of the predominantly Atlantic ocean-based research, shows the world-wide popularity and concern for this great game fish.
To find out more about this popular magazine, its articles and the issues facing Australian anglers, visit their Web site at http://bluewatermag.com.au/.
During the ten years that this program has operated, anglers have sent in pictures of dolphin that they have caught, tagged or recaptured. Many shots are of trophy fish or amazing aerial displays. Some photos have featured prominent injuries while others have shown unusual parasites and stomach contents. Many depict the beauty and awesome power of these amazing game fish.
The purpose of the Photo Gallery page is to show the world-wide interest that anglers have in dolphin and some of the amazing aspects of this impressive animal that many fishermen never get to see. The faces of the many anglers displayed there reflect the great enjoyment fishermen derive from catching dolphin.
The best of these photos are assembled into a gallery on a new page on the Web site entitled “Photos.” Visit WWW.DOLPHINTAGGING.COM and click on the “Photos” page to see some interesting fish and the people who pursue them.
You are invited to send in your favorite digital pictures of dolphinfish showing an interesting or unusual aspect about the fish.
These could be injuries the fish survived, color patterns, unusual items that the fish ate, or anything else out of the ordinary. I would also like to have pictures of fish you have tagged. Photos must be sharply in focus and clearly depict the subject with a preferred file size of at least 1MB. E-mail your pictures to CSSLLC@BELLSOUTH.NET along with information about where and when the fish was caught and what is unusual about it.
For More Information, Contact
Cooperative Science Services, LLC
961 Anchor Rd., Charleston, SC 29412-4902
Telephone – FAX (843) 795-7524
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